British stunt rider Gary Rothwell has a new world record to call his own after setting the world wheelie speed record at the World Motorcycle Wheelie Championship at Elvington Airfield in England over the weekend. Rothwell was able to hit a top speed of 209.8 mph on just the back wheel of his bike over a distance of 1 kilometer (.62 miles), setting a new bar for aspiring wheelie riders to beat.

Setting world records has become kind of an old hat for Rothwell. Over the course of a career that has spanned two decades, Rothwell has set numerous records, including the famous “Fastest Man on Skis” stunt that saw him get pulled along on titanium skis fitted into his boots at 156.3 mph. His newest record is pretty incredible considering the degree of difficulty attached to it. Performing a wheelie isn’t that difficult for a short stretch, but when you factor in the speed and distance Rothwell did it in, it’s absolutely incredible.

Now that he’s etched his name in that proverbial stone, it should serve notice to everyone who may want to attempt to break it in the future. Gary Rothwell owns the world wheelie speed record. If you want to break, you’re going to have to do better than 209.8 mph.

Continue reading to learn more about Gary Rothwell’s new world wheelie speed record.

Why it matters

Setting a world record is a pretty a cool accomplishment no matter how you slice it. Sure, there are records that aren’t that important, but more often than not, people who end up in record books are pretty proud of what they’ve accomplished. Gary Rothwell knows that feeling better than most people because he already has a number of world records in his back pocket. His latest one, though, is very impressive because of the way he accomplished it.

For the record, I’ve performed my fair share of wheelies in the past. What I haven’t done, nor will I be able to, is perform a wheelie at the speed that Rothwell hit to set the world record. I’m sorry, going 209.8 mph on the back wheel of a motorcycle for a distance of 1 kilometer is something I can’t even fathom doing. You’re going to need to be really good at wheelies and have a few loose screws in your head to even attempt doing it, let alone accomplish it. That’s why I have the utmost respect for what Rothwell just did. For him to actually do 200.3 mph doing a wheelie and then come back and hit 209.8 mph in a space of 20 minutes is absolutely incredible.

I applaud you, sir, for your talents and your determination. I know that records are meant to be broken, but just this once, I hope nobody will be able to top what you did.

Source: YouTube

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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